Posts Tagged ‘BBQ Canada’

Looft Lighter – A new gadget for lighting charcoal

I received a new toy to try out and play with the Looft Lighter In Canada the Looft Lighter is available at Ontario Gas BBQ’s and retails for $89.99.  


THE LOOFTLIGHTER STORY

It all began 1997 when theatre director Richard Looft got angry. The chicken he barbecued tasted lighter fluid!

Richard started thinking of a better and more environment friendly way to light the grill.

He poured coal into a toaster, turned the flow around in a vacuum cleaner and discovered that the coal got ready to use in just a few minutes!

In 2003 a prototype was presented to the Swedish Inventors’ Association.
In 2005 Looft Industries Ltd was established. In 2006 the first 5000 Looftlighter arrived in Stockholm and Richard then called the most exclusive department stores. Nobody wanted even to see him…

So he took his grill, placed himself outside the shops, called again to the purchasers and asked for 60 seconds of their time. They came out, Richard made his demonstration and all ordered the Looftlighter right in the street.

Today the Looftlighter is being sold as a BBQ- and fire place lighter in all of Scandinavia, more than ten countries in Europe and has also been introduced in the USA.

I have to admit I was pretty shocked at the price considering it is just a BBQ lighter. I mean who is going to spend $89.99 on essentially a lighter. Ok really its a lighter and beer opener. It would be advisable though to open your beer then light the charcoal. It is very hot once you use it rendering the beer opener unusable until the unit cools down.

I used in in my weber kettle last weekend. I wasn’t going to be cooking in fact I was out in my backyard with my daughters friends who wanted to roast marshmallows. It sounds an awful lot like a hair dryer. Which makes sense since it is hot air that is being used to light the charcoal. I simply pointed it to the pile of lump charcoal I was using and approx 30-40 seconds later it started sparking and about 1 minute later the piece of lump it was pointing to – was lit. That was it. However due to its design you only get one or two pieces lit at a time.  I left the couple of pieces lit and after 45 minutes the rest of the charcoal was ready to go. You can also use the looft lighter in fireplaces.

The lighter overall seems to be constructed well. It is heavier than it appears. Solid overall. However there is no child lock on the lighter. That would be a concern for me.

The looft lighter absolutely works as stated. No denying that fact. Its a fun expensive gadget for sure. For however many coals you want lit you have to hold the button down. IF you want a whole lot of coals lit at once that means potentially holding the button for 10-15 minutes listening to a loud hair dryer. At the end of the day I am really comfortable using my weber chimney that cost 19.99 and a sheet of newspaper (free from the assortment of flyers I get weekly) or a weber cube ($4.99 for 24 cubes). Its much easier to me to light my charcoal chimney full then go play with my kids, or prep the meats and veggies and come back and dump them in. Simple easy lighter fluid free.

One of my favorite Summer toppings Mango salsa

I love Mango salsas and I make them throughout the summer. When mangos are plentiful and ripe I make a lot of things with them. This salsa is wonderful on fish, chicken and especially pork. Tonight I served them with some smoked chicken breasts. The ingredients always vary depending on what is in the fridge or fresh from the market.

Today’s Mango salsa recipe:

6 medium size mango’s peeled and diced
1 red pepper finely minced
1 large handful of cilantro leaves chopped
1 jalapeño seeded membrane removed and finely diced
1/2 white onion finely minced
2 limes juiced and zested
1/4 tsp Chipotle powder
1/4 tsp Roasted cumin powder
salt to taste

I prefer to make this up at least an hour before serving. The flavors come together well and it really does brighten up any dish.

Traeger Grilling and Chilling weekend June 5

I have been looking forward to this for a long time- it is going to be so much fun.

Its a package deal Traeger has put together with the weekend sponsor Big Rock Brewery. Traeger Grilling and Chilling !!

Just a note this is open to ALL BBQ owners gas charcoal etc all are welcome!!

For $150.00 you can get a room, 2 pitmasters BBQ sessions, catered BBQ meal by the award winning Simcoe County Smokers, Boat Cruise, and BBQ Ambassador jacket .  Fantastic Deal!! Plus if you have a spouse or significant other they can come for only $50.00 for the meal and boat cruise.

Traeger Grilling & Chilling Weekend Midland

Please contact the Traeger office if you would like to sign up : 1-866-415-8159

the Stockyards BBQ Excellence and so much more.

I am just going to put it out there. One of the best places I have ever eaten BBQ ever is at the Stockyards. Yes. It is. Period. But wait. Theres more. How about the sexiest damn burger, the best onion rings, the most flavorful porchetta, the best tasting limeade and some of the nicest sandwiches a girl could ask for. It was freaking awesome. That sums up the whole meal:  freaking awesome.

I have been wanting to go to this place for a year. Since they opened last April. I never got the chance till tonight. I was worried it would not live up to its reputation. I was hopeful that the hype was true. It did not disappoint. I think for anyone coming into Toronto missing The Stockyards would be a sin. Truly.

I got to enjoy this meal with Ben Kaplan a writer for the National Post. He had written a story about the Stockyards previously and knew the owner Tom Davis. Tom is a tall lanky guy who has an intensity about him and a true warmth and passion for all things BBQ. He was on a mission to feed us both enough food to kill us. He seemed to take a real delight in it.

As we sat through the meal and talked back and forth I was thinking about the episode with Anthony Bourdain where he visits Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal QC. Martin Picard serves Anthony dish after decadent dish of fois gras items. All more decadent than the one previous. It just about kills him with the deliciousness and indulgence of it all.

Now imagine that instead of fois gras you were served outstanding  BBQ. Then burgers, and in house made pastrami and andouille and bacon and well you get the picture. That was my culinary adventure for tonight. Oh my goodness.

I started out the night with a photo-shoot in the rain on the back of my truck with my super cute Traeger pig BBQ. Then I moved on to the culinary indulgences. Limeade. Ahh limeade. I love you limeade. It is a perfect pairing with BBQ in my opinion. Their limeade puts all others to shame. Crisp clean and not too sweet. Lovely. Just lovely.

Now the first taste of the night came with the onion rings. Too many places forget the onion and all you get is batter. These were the best I have ever had period. A good onion ring is soooo hard to find. These were delightfully crisp. The batter had a pepper kick that made you want them more and more. The integrity of the onion never got lost with the batter. It stood on its own still retaining its crisp. Deep fried perfection.

I’d like to thank the fly fry girl Allison. She is a very hospitable friendly lady who worked the fry station all night like a champ. She rocked.

Our seats were right at the full view of the kitchen. Prime real estate at the Stockyards considering there are only 14 seats . The lineups never cease for takeout and on a Tuesday night its all about ribs and chicken.  Their full menu is plentiful. Additionally all of their takeout containers are biodegradable. Even the straws are biodegradable. Kudos to them for being environmentally responsible with their packaging choices.

Before the onslaught of food started we took a tour of the back room and the smoker. Tom runs it on hickory and apple wood he sources from the Niagara region and sugar maple hardwood lump charcoal. Its no secret I am a HUGE fan of sugar maple hardwood lump charcoal. It really does add to the flavor of the food. The smoker itself is a J&R Clone. Its a fairly large smoker that can accommodate a lot of meat. Tom had it custom made to his specifications. After years of playing with smoke  fire wood and charcoal on a cheap $100.00 Canadian Tire Smoker he knew what he wanted. He got it and it runs beautifully. It was great to see it in action as he was still smoking chicken when we got there.

Getting back to our seats from the tour of the kitchen the first 6 dishes arrived. The smell was truly intoxicating to me.

Pastrami, ribs, pulled pork, andouille, brisket and coleslaw.

The pastrami they do in house. It was wonderfully tender and nicely spiced. I think it will soon rival Caplansky’s.

The pulled pork had lots and lots of really great texture and definition. They do not serve it with sauce on –it is served on the side. Their sauce is not the syrupy sickly sweet consistency of so many other BBQ joints. It has twang and depth with apple cider vinegar and just a touch of sweetness. KUDOS to them. There are glorious shreds of bark through out. It was incredible. As we were doing a tasting it was served on its own. Truly a good pulled pork in my opinion should be able to stand on its own without sauce without a bun and without coleslaw. This pulled pork stands on its own and sings. Its that good.

Brisket. Oh my brisket. I love the point on brisket, all that delectable fat. My sandwich was full of delicious point.  This brisket was sliced thin and served on a French Baguette with caramelized onions garlic mayo and just a touch of their BBQ sauce. It was divine. Tender morsels of brisket that pulled apart with just a little tug. It was an incredible sandwich and the addition of the mayo and onions was just taking it to a whole other level.

Their slaw is different, in a good way. Its not some afterthought. It really has a great crunch factor and peppery bites with touches of celery seeds. Its a great accompaniment for any of the dishes.

The andouille was a really nice surprise. Its available on their brunch menu. The coarse grained meat had a wonderful smoky flavor and an abundance of defined texture. I can’t wait to go back and try their brunch menu. I would not want to miss it. I may need a while to recoup from tonight though.

Tom smokes his spare ribs for 7 hours. You would think that after 7 hours that they would fall off the bone be mushy or be overdone. You would be wrong. These ribs were one of the best I have ever had and certainly one of the best in Canada. Seriously meaty they would rival any rib I have had any where in North America. They held their shape after biting through. The bone turned a nice whitish color and the meat was tender but not mushy. The rub is simple and effective  - it does not mask the actual flavor of the pork but compliments it thoroughly. Too often the rubs and sauces that are used by restaurants mask too much of the pork. This rub is like the best supporting actor ever. It just helped it along but didn’t overshadow them. I loved how much of the rib was caramelized.  Goodness. Pure Pork Goodness.

If those dishes were not enough for a couple of foodies the next ones just about killed us with their decadence. It was like a foodie swan song and we almost bit the dust.

Fried Chicken, BAT, Porchetta Sandwich and the sexiest burger ever.

I am going to say this for the record I am jaded about fried chicken. After over indulging earlier this year on a couple of trips to Memphis and eating at Gus’s fried chicken I never thought I would ever find anything close again. I was wrong. Now I am going to say this chicken is almost as good as Gus’s. Almost. Pretty darn close in fact. The batter is awesome. The chicken is moist and succulent. However I think it needs more spice. Thats just a personal thing. It’s an easy fix with a couple dashes of hot sauce. Thats all it takes to bring this chicken to just about the same level as Gus’s. Once again its deep fried finger licking, lip smacking deep fried greatness. The chicken is not greasy at all. It is crunchy and savory and truly yummy.

BAT. What a name LOL. Its the Stockyards house cured bacon, Arugula, fried green Tomato, and lemon aioli on a ciabatta roll. Out of everything I had this was my least favorite. There is nothing bad about this sandwich. I just wanted to eat the bacon and nothing else. The bacon is so lovely with smoky overtones and full bodied flavor that it seems almost sacrilege to cover it up with anything.

I have now had the burger of my dreams. This burger was the sassiest, tastiest and sexiest burger I have ever had. It is a griddle smashed burger. This burger is unabashedly fierce. Smoked green chilies give it sass,pimento cheese gives it depth, the ground beef, brilliantly cooked and a buttered grilled bun like a perfect pillow. – I am in love with this burger. It was like sex on a bun. It was that amazing. I cannot wait to have another one. In fact I may go again Thursday when I am in Toronto again.

Last but most certainly not least is something I would recommend above everything else. It is their Porchetta sandwich.
I love porchetta when it is done right. Here is done exceptionally well. There is so much to love about this sandwich I do not know where to begin. It could be the fact that within the first bite you know there is a whole lotta love in the making of this wondrous sandwich. It is a fennel and garlic scented pork loin, belly,and cracklings served on a baguette, with garlic aioli.


This is truly a dream of a sandwich. While you are smelling the beautiful fennel and garlic you are experiencing the most satisfying crunch of the cracklings and while you are enjoying the cracklings your mouth is flooded with pure pork pleasure and if that wasn’t enough the silkiness of the garlic aioli comes across your tongue like the caress of a lover. While their chili burger is unabashedly sexy this is more like the most incredibly orchestrated symphony of flavors, tastes, and textures. I could not dream a better sandwich that this.

It was a culinary adventure like no other.

Many thanks to my dining partner tonight Ben Kaplan.  His is an exceptionally smart guy who was funny as hell. Truly talented – I know everyone will be hearing about him and his writing accomplishments.

Many thanks to the staff of the Stockyards and to Tom Davis himself. Thank you for sharing your passions about BBQ.

I have no doubt I will be back. Soon. Very soon. Like maybe in 48 hours.

the Stockyards
Smokehouse & larder
416 658 9666
info@thestockyards.ca

HOURS
Monday closed

Tuesday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Wednesday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Thursday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Friday 11:30 to 9:00pm

Saturday 11:30 to 8:00pm
Sunday 11:30 to 8:00pm

NO RESERVATIONS

Mothers Day Feast Bison Tri Tip Grilled Corn & Artichokes

Mothers day.. 2010

image via Metblogs

My husband got up this morning and made me some lovely pancakes for breakfast. The children brought me beautiful handmade cards and lovingly made presents from school. I had a nice leisurely morning playing with the kids and writing recipes. I think Mothers Day is such an overrated day. I think everyday should be Mothers & Fathers day. However I will use this day each year to get the house cleaned. I admit it I am shallow like that. Any opportunity to get the house cleaned works for me.

So while the hubby and the kids were cleaning I was playing on the grills. Now in my world a day of playing with the kids and playing with the grills rocks.

My menu for todays meal has been planned since this past Monday. I received an AWESOME present from the food editor of the Toronto Star Jennifer Bain. She also is known as the Saucy lady. I had not seen here for years though we corresponded back and forth. It was fun to grill up some items for her to be featured in a couple of articles in the Toronto Star’s food section. Jennifer brought me a present she knew I would appreciate.

Her husband is a bison rancher in Alberta. I was thrilled to see her digging out packages of meat from her bag. A gorgeous tri-tip and some other cuts to be used at a later date. I knew in an instant what I would be making for Mother’s day. I love tri-tip. Love it. I do not have it often enough. To get a bison tri-tip was really special. I can’t wait to get together again. She is a walking encyclopedia of food knowledge and funny as hell.

For those of you not familiar with Tri-tip Whitetrash BBQ had the following article and image on Santa Maria Tri Tip:

My tri-tip started its journey today in a marinade of dried rosemary, minced garlic, canola oil, and red onions.

While the tri-tip was getting happy I moved on to the side dishes. Artichokes are another one of those items that I do not eat often enough. They are labour intensive but so worth it. I started out with quite a lot of artichokes.

Then I got to trimming them with some scissors to take out the tough sharp outer leaves. I used a large knife to cut off the ends just above the choke.

They are so pretty.

I needed to trim a little faster these were browning up quickly.

Cutting them in half and using a melon baller is the easiest way i have found to clean them out quickly.

I also like eating the stem. I used a paring knife to trim out the harder outer layer.

One of the most important steps is placing the trimmed artichokes in some acidulated water. Thats a fancy schmancy way of saying some water that has some lemon juice in it. So glad I am finally putting those college degrees to use. Basically if you skip this step you will end up with very gray blotchy looking artichokes. It won’t affect the taste but they will look like crap on a plate.

After soaking them in the acidulated water for half an hour I drained them off and placed them in one of my large stock pots filled with fresh water. I boiled them in salted water for approx 1/2 hour till they were just started to tenderize. Now you can skip this step but you better be prepared to stand beside your charcoal grill for a good hour or so while they get tender. Since they are not a rib I am ok with boiling.

While they were getting their happy bath I moved on to the last side dish – corn. I love corn. If given a choice between corn or potatoes corn for me wins out every time. I remember once when I was a kid I got my a$$ seriously reprimanded for eating corn raw right in the field of the farmer that lived near us. Not only did I get the displeasure of my parents bestowed upon me for stealing our neighbours corn I had to go work for the farmer and make up for it. Sheesh I mean really to an 11 year old kid was the farmer really going to miss a couple of ears??? I still think brat (baby brother) ratted me out for that one.

Ok so getting back to the corn. I keep it simple flavorful and fresh. I peel back the husks and I remove the silks and I go right to the grill with it. I don’t season it at all until it comes off. I really find if you use a good charcoal like Basques a lot of the flavor is imparted by the charcoal itself.

When it came off I simply sprinkled chipotle powder, lime zest, salt and pepper on it with a tiny bit of butter. (please note this is the truth the Paula Deen in me didn’t come out today y’all!)At the last minute I always squeeze lime juice on as well.

As the corn was finishing it was time to get the artichokes on the grill to get a bit of char on them. It was quite windy in my backyard today.
**Ahem – note to husband a Q bana may be in my near future. Just saying its something to think about.

Please note this picture should also be proof that I do on occasion wear something other than black. Bright orange neon capris at home are perfectly acceptable grilling clothing.

While all this veggie madness was going on (see Peta I do eat veggies….) on went the tri-tip on the new Traeger 300. I am really loving this grill. Awesome color on everything and great taste too.

Today I employed the reverse sear method. It worked well again. Here is another reference to reverse sear as well.
I held it at 225F for approx 1/2 hour then I finished it at 450F. I took it to medium rare. That way everyone in our house is happy. rested it for 15 minuted lightly tented.

I sliced the tri-tip fairly thinly and served up the corn and the artichokes with a curry aioli (curry powder, good quality mayo, s&p, lemon juice, a wee bit of garlic powder, and a few pinches of turmeric).
Dinner as a family is always great and we try to eat together as much as we can. We are coming up to soccer season in our house this week. That means 3-4 times a week (for the next 12 weeks) we are either at a soccer game or at a soccer practice. I am going to cherish this dinner with family. Let me tell you it was goodness on a plate. #GOAP It was a wonderful meal for mothers day.

For all you Mom’s out there you rock. Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

Big Chris BBQ Smokehouse-another visit

I made a repeat visit back to Big Chris today. I had not planned on it but as I was over in that area of Barrie it was convenient. Good food is always worth it.

Today I tried their shaved roast beef. A while back I posted their beans well to put it bluntly -sucked royally. Since then however I have great news – they are really great now. Completely terrific. Texture flavor and all aspects are just super yummy now.

This time I stayed and ate with my 4 year old son.

This is how they serve their in house diners. It was a very generous portion of lovely smoked shaved roast beef (you can opt for their horseradish mayo) great french fries, side of crunchy coleslaw and the new and uber improved beans. It was plenty for both of us. Kudos to them for improving their products and reacting to customers. I have no doubt Ill be back and I would suggest anyone who appreciates good bbq goes.

Fiddleheads Fiddleheads Fiddleheads

I love Fiddleheads. Love them dearly. I have fond memories as a kid going out to the bush around the Orangeville Ontario area with my Dad (aka Mr. Happypants) and the brat (aka my little bro) harvesting these spring time gems. We would go explore some of the Mono Cliff caves around Hockley Road ( a few minutes away from Orangeville) and then we would go harvest fiddleheads.

I did not harvest these lovely little gems but found them just being unloaded at my local No Frills grocery store. I could not resist. I really do prefer fresh fiddleheads for grilling. The frozen ones available year round are great for making a fiddlehead and leek soup in the winter but the texture is not great for a grill.

For those of you not familiar with fiddleheads here is the WIKI info for them:

Fiddlehead ferns refers to the unfurled fronds of a young fern harvested for food consumption. The fiddlehead, or circinate vernation, unrolls as the fern emerges from the ground with new growth. As fiddleheads are harvested early in the season before the frond has opened and reached its full height, they are cut fairly close to the ground.
The fiddlehead resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a fiddle. It is also called a crozier, after the curved staff used by bishops, which has its origins in the shepherd’s crook.

When cooking fiddleheads, first remove all the yellow/brown skin, then boil the sprouts twice with a change of water between boilings. Removing the water reduces the bitterness and the content of tannins and toxins.

I like to soak my fiddleheads overnight in water first. Then trim any of the dark brown bits off the cut ends and remove any of the papery brown outer layer that can be sometimes attached to them. Before grilling I steam them quickly a couple of times. This is an important step as you need to remove some of the bitterness and potential toxins.

For the preparation I simply tossed them in some lemon olive oil, then sprinkled them generously with salt & pepper. Using a frogmat works great with these. Just grill at medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until tender turning a couple of times. I really like the lemon with fiddleheads. I added some lemon zest just before dinner as well.

I served them up with some nice plump tomatoes and xtra crispy cajun fried chicken. It was a good meal.

Teddy ROCKS it out Makes a 590 pound BURGER!!!

Not only did he break the record he smashes it to smithereens. Awesome. Way to go Teddy!! WELL DONE!!!

Ted Reader – Attempt to break Attempt to Break Guinness World Record of Largest Burger

Tomorrow is a really big day in the world of Ted Reader.  He will be attempting to break the Guiness World Record for the largest burger at Yonge & Dundas Square Toronto  !

Join Ted while he makes his record breaking attempt and bid on the World’s Largest Hamburger. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Chef Ted Reader’s charity of choice, Camp Bucko; a charity/camp for children who are burn survivors.

Cooking begins around 4am, final plating between approx. Noon & 1:30pm.

Creating the World’s Largest Hamburger will kick off Chef Ted Reader’s press tour promoting his latest cookbook, Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Burgers. A 300-page cookbook featuring 110 recipes including vivid full-colour photos.

This is a coordinated effort between Ted Reader and his partners: Napoleon Gourmet Grills, Sysco (Honeymans Beef) and the World’s Largest BBQ Store – Ontario Gas BBQ.

New Cookbook for Summer 2010!
One of the mainstays of summer—the iconic hamburger—leaps off the grill with the bravado of Ted Reader’s truly unique interpretations of how burgers can be prepared and enjoyed. With more than 100 inspired burger creations, made using the finest grills in the world, you will learn how to make more than just your plain, old hamburger.

Ted Reader’s mouth watering recipes will take you on a journey to Burger Heaven – each recipe is accompanied by a full-colour photograph guaranteed to inspire anyone who loves to grill and those with a passion for food. Ted also gives tips and tricks – selecting the ideal binder, how to grind your meat as well as shaping your burgers – so anyone can transform a variety of ingredients into a fiesta of flavour.

Whether cooking over gas or charcoal, Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Burgers provides directions for making the perfect burger every time.

Treat yourself and your friends to such unique interpretations on the classic hamburger, including:

Orgasmic Onion Burgers

Chilled Lobster and Avocado Burgers

California Smoked Turkey Burgers

Grilled Mushroom Risotto Burgers

The Jackinator Burger

Lamb Roti Burgers

Tandoori Burgers

Fajita Burgers

I received  a copy of this book a while ago and it delivers an incredible selection of burgers and wonderful food photography. The first printing has already sold out. Its that good.

I spoke with Teddy the other day about this burger attempt he was super excited and working like crazy as always. I typically talk with Teddy really early in the morning. We did this interview at 6am which for both of us busy with family work etc seems to be one of the best times to have a chat:

Here are some of the details he gave me about the burger:
The Bun weighs 150 pounds approx. and has been made by San Remo Bakery – It is an egg bread challah based burger bun with sesame seeds. It measures 40 inches diameter and it may end up being 15 inches thick.

The meat has been seasoned with Ted Readers Orgasmic Onion Burger Seasoning. They are utilizing a Burger Binder – with bread crumbs and it was designed to help retain the moisture. It was developed  in a meat plant to meet CFIA regulations and has been Government inspected.

It will start with 300 pounds and may shrink to 250-260 pounds. The patty is 40 in diameter and 8 inches thick.It has 18% internal fat.

As Teddy states:
When it leaves the plant it has to be done properly. No health issues!  We want people to be able to really eat the burger.  This burger will be available on our catering menu for special events. We made it so that it can be repeated again. We want to make it or a smaller version available to the public.

The charcoal used for this record breaking burger will be Basques Hardwood Charcoal. It was important to Ted to use a Canadian charcoal of great quality.

The grill has been manufactured in Barrie Ontario at Napoleon – it is 48 inches square and has 3 main parts. It was a multiple person project just to design the grill and the hydraulic operation that will run it. Additionally the grill can be flipped with a dial. The grill is a cage and clamps the burger in place so the burger is firm and it doesn’t move.

The condiments for the bun will be very traditional: Lettuce tomato pickle and onion. There will be cheese on the burger 2 types : provolone plus grated fontina cheese

In Teddy’s words: I want to make a classic yummy burger 1 bun 1 burger condiments that’s it.

Additionally one of the great parts of this attempt is that it has been tied in to a charity that is near and dear to Ted Camp Bucko.


Camp BUCKO is a fun, safe and caring camp program free to kids ages 7 to 17 with burn injuries. Our residential setting encourages campers to participate in a variety of social, recreational and therapeutic activities that promote self-esteem, the development of leadership skills and fosters personal growth. At Camp BUCKO, kids have a place where they can be themselves without feeling different or alone.


I wish Ted and his attempt at breaking this Guinness World Record all the best. There were over 100 people involved in making this burger attempt and I have no doubt -Its going to be terrific!

Big Chris BBQ Smokehouse Now Open Barrie, ON

Finally. A new BBQ restaurant has opened in Barrie. I was looking forward to the opening of Big Chris’s Smokehouse since the last BBQ restaurant in Barrie –  Mike Love’s BBQ closed in 2008.

Big Chris’s has been open for less than 48 hours but I could not resist popping in to try some of their BBQ.

I asked what type of equipment they use and was told it is an electric Cookshack smoker with apple and hickory chips.

I ordered their half rack of ribs ($12.95) and their half bun Pulled Pork Sandwich ($5.50) both came with sides of beans coleslaw and fries.  I got both of these orders to go.

Ill start with their ribs. Currently they have only one sauce and they will be introducing more (Mustard, Texas spicy etc) in the future.

The half rack is generously portioned.  Very meaty rack.  The ribs did not fall off the bone and were cooked in my opinion properly. They had really good texture. The sauce was not overly sweet. Nice balance overall.  It was a decent rack of ribs with a very noticeable smoke taste.

Now something I wasn’t expecting was the goodness of the fries. It is really hard to get good fries. This place does them really well. While I personally prefer hushpuppies with my BBQ these fries are beautifully crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They remind me of old school fish and chip fries. Get some.

Next up would be my least favorite part of the meal – the beans. Seriously I expected much much better. They are not memorable. The texture is really mushy and bland. Theres just nothing there that would make you want their beans again. They could improve these greatly.   A little onion a little spice and a better bean would go a long way on improving them. Truly they tasted like a can of Heinz beans dumped into a container.   Take a pass on these.

The coleslaw was really good. You may want to get seconds.  Super crunchy tart and sweet at the same time and a perfect match for my favorite part of the meal the pulled pork sammie.

Now this in my opinion would be worth the drive from Toronto to come to Barrie to eat lunch or dinner.  This sandwich alone would be worth it. More often than not in restaurants these days pulled pork is over cooked mushy as heck and blander than anything. This sandwich is none of those things.

This is a really awesome Pulled Pork Sammie.

This is goodness on a bun. Please note this sammie must have weighed well over a pound and this was their half bun. The texture is what got me. The texture was great. The flavors came through a little smoke and a little sweet and all pork goodness. The pork pieces still have definition. Wonderful flavorful definition. I would go back for another.  There are still a lot of other items I would like to try on their menu.

There are still lots of quirks to be figured out and I have no doubt they will get there. For me I would definitely recommend this place as a real contender for some of the best BBQ in Ontario.  One of the key things I noticed was what I saw from other people – a whole lot of empty plates and happy looking folks.

They are open 7 days a week 11-11pm

110 Anne St. South

Barrie Ontario

705-721-RIBS (7427)

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